Cheney wades into RNC chairman race

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has picked GOP operative Maria Cino as his favorite in the race for chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Cheney will co-host a fundraiser for Cino -- a former Bush administration official -- next week, CNN reported. The event is intended to fill the coffers of her 527 group created to raise funds for a run at the party's chairmanship.

Cino has not yet officially entered the race for chairman, but the event is another sign that high-profile Republicans are lining up against current chairman Michael Steele, should he decide to run for a second term as party chief.

According to CNN, the fundraiser will be held at the Virginia home of well-known GOP strategist Mary Matalin. Other Bush allies are expected to co-host the event, such as former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, former New York Rep. Bill Paxon and two former Bush administration aides.

Cino served in the Commerce Department and as Deputy Transportation Secretary under President George W. Bush.

Only Michigan RNC committeeman Saul Anuzis and ex-Missouri GOP chief Anna Wagner have officially announced their bids. At least six others are seriously considering bids, including Cino and Steele.